Ribbon Grass, Reed Canary Grass, Gardener's Garters 'Strawberries & Cream'

Phalaris arundinacea

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phalaris (FAL-ah-ris) (Info)
Species: arundinacea (a-run-din-uh-KEE-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Strawberries & Cream


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gadsden, Alabama

Jacksonville, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Lombard, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Waterloo, Iowa

Barbourville, Kentucky

Henderson, Kentucky

Cokato, Minnesota

Hibbing, Minnesota

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Coram, New York

La Fargeville, New York

Coshocton, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Goodlettsville, Tennessee

Alvin, Texas

Kaysville, Utah

Porterfield, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

My experience with 'Picta' is that it spreads too quickly and aggressively by underground rhizomes for it to be used near other garden perennials. There are many other more useful ornamental grasses that look very similar without being weedy or thuggish.

This species is naturalized through most of the US, and often forms large monoculture stands in wetland habitat. Cultivating it is prohibited in Massachusetts, where it's considered an invasive threat to natural habitat. It's been declared a noxious weed in Washington, and invasive in Connecticut.


On Nov 9, 2012, truevalue from La Fargeville, NY wrote:

I used to sell this monster ay my garden center. Extremely invasive in a perennial bed. Might be contained as a specimen in the yard if you mow it back often enough. I'll never stock it again; there's too many great alternative grasses available.


On Jul 17, 2010, poisondartfrog from Barbourville, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a beautiful plant, but it is invasive in my garden under good conditions and was very difficult to get under control. I moved a small portion to the worst areas of my garden where it persists in unimproved clay.


On Jul 17, 2010, JayinMN from Hibbing, MN wrote:

Very hardy and showy in zone 3a. It does spread but I do not consider it invasive.


On Jul 16, 2008, AmandaTaylor7 from Alvin, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is a weed. Very uncontrollable once it takes root. At least that's from my experience.


On Mar 15, 2008, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

The Minnesota DNR has Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) listed on it's invasive species list.
"Ecological Threat:

* Reed canary is a major threat to natural wetlands. It out competes most native species.
* It presents a major challenge in wetland mitigation efforts.
* It forms large, single-species stands, with which other species cannot compete.
* If cut during the growing season a second growth spurt occurs in the fall.
* Invasion is associated with disturbances, such as ditch building, stream channeling sedimentation and intentional planting.
* This Eurasian species has been planted throughout the U.S. since the 1800s for forage and erosion control. It is still being planted."


On Feb 4, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Also known as 'Feesey's Form'.